Mother’s Day 2021

Last year Mother’s Day came during a pandemic when everything was upside down and turned around and shut down. Instead of my usual trip to a flower store or nursery or garden center I went to the Friendly City Food Co-Op. There I found a beautiful hanging basket with geraniums and trailing flowers and decided it would make a perfect shortcut to creating mom’s outdoor planter, my annual Mother’s Day gift.

Last year, as I extracted the plant contents from the hanging basket into the urn, mom noticed through the window. When she realized my planter-arranging hack, she decided she actually would prefer a hanging basket. I fished the discarded plastic hanging container from the trash can behind the house and returned the entire arrangement to the original pot. It hung on the porch and flowered beautifully all season and into the fall.

Mom during a fall photo shoot in September, 2020, with her Mother’s Day hanging basket in full bloom.

I returned the several perennials from years gone by (removed to accommodate the large arrangement) to the planter, and added red geraniums to make it pretty. These coordinated with the ones on the porch. It became a two-for-one deal, but that’s also my mom, always extra.

Each year when Mother’s Day rolled around, we kids asked what she wanted. Her response always the same, Happy Children!  Our reply equally the same, No really! What’s something we CAN give you?

Oh, Mama, we miss you.

This year is the first Mother’s Day without Mom. I am not a happy child. I am a grieving one. When I think back to last Mother’s Day, it feels surreal that we were laughing about replanting a hanging basket. She was so surprised and delighted with the change. We had no idea what loomed on the horizon.

The perennials returned again. Heavy-hearted, I wonder what to do. The planning and planting excitement of years past is not there. There’s no need to hide or surprise. I pick up a pot of lavender in bloom and bring it over one afternoon.

Perennials begin to grow in Mom’s planter each spring.
Lavender waiting to be planted.
Lavender planted in Mom’s planter.

Hastily shoving it into the pot, I wonder how it will do. Will it thrive or barely survive? I will eventually add something trailing but not today. For right now, this is enough.

My thoughts are scattered, words lost as I try to finish this. I have already cried copious tears and way over-thought the neglect of my blog these past months, even though my mind has so much to say. I really should write about that.


Sometimes there are just no more words.

I just miss my mom on this first Mother’s Day without her.

6 thoughts on “Mother’s Day 2021

  1. Kathryn Pugh

    ❤️ I miss my mom everyday and she has been gone 5 years. But I hear her words when I need them and I have her example of love, joy, determination, and more love.

  2. Barbara

    Julie, I remember your post from last Mother’s Day. How you tried to surprise your mom with the flowers. And now a year later and so much has changed. I know I do not have adequate words but I would like to let you know I care about you and that I think you had a special mama who loved her children well and she shines through you. In some ways your mama is not gone. You are carrying on her legacy of love, warmth, laughter, sincerity, and even tears. I want to write happy Mother’s Day but it seems too much like a cliche and too raw for someone who has recently lost their mom. I will write instead, “May today be about carrying on your mom’s legacy of love to your children and grandchildren.” You are a special lady with a special heart and I can’t help but think your mama played a large role in that. Hugs to you as you grieve and celebrate your mom and also celebrate your important role as a mom and grandma.

  3. Becky Schulthess

    Sweet friend! It isn’t easy when we lose a loved one. And the “firsts“ are hard. No one can tell you how to grieve or how long to grieve or even what to grieve… but we can tell you that you are not walking alone. I’m walking with you in this grief. You are not alone. You are seen. You are loved. You are known. You are treasured.
    Love you!

  4. Theresa Howard

    Julie as you grieve your Mom’s absence, I want to tell you the picture of you and your mom together warmed my heart. I got to witness restoration and joy in your relationship. It brings a vision of hope. I know you are an amazing mom!


Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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